Friday, August 11, 2006

Corn flakes without milk

Corn flakes without milk sucks. And right now, I'm eating just that. Here's why...

Excelics, the company where I work, just threw away all my food. Food that I had kept in the fridge. The fridge that was provided by the company for its employees. And this is the fourth time this has happened. I'm pissed... Really really pissed.

About 3 months back, the Excelics management started a practice whereby the fridge would be cleaned every Friday and so we needed to clear our stuff from the fridge before that happens. A couple of weeks after that, I went to the fridge coolly, one Friday afternoon, only to find all my stuff gone! After enquiring around, I learnt that they had actually thrown away everything. Everything! I had spent atleast 35 bucks the previous day stocking up on my food. I had bought milk, frozen food (that's what I eat), juice, butter, yoghurt, etc. And they had just thrown it all away! I was obviously bloody pissed.

Who throws away food like that?! And more importantly, who throws away their own employees' food?! First of all, being a silicon valley startup, you'd normally expect the company to provide you with some sort of food and snacks. But, Excelics, was redefining convention out here! They were, in fact, taking away what the employees had brought! Outrageous...

I would be more understanding if it was an absolute necessity to throw away my stuff. But, in this case, all they had to do is leave it on the dining table. Better still, they could've removed the stuff, cleaned the fridge and put back the stuff inside. What's the big deal?! Why throw away good food?

I literally live in this company. I stay in office till very late every night. I even spend my weekends in this hell-hole. And obviously, I need to keep my food here in the fridge. I eat my lunches, my dinners and everything in between at my company. And that's why, when something like this happens to me, it is twice as demoralizing as it would normally be. It's like they don't give a shit about what I do or what I go through.

I asked Nestor, our janitor, about this and figured that the upper management had directly instructed him to do this. I was amused actually, when I heard this. If this isn't micro-management, I dont know what is.

Such practices will be very damaging to employee attitude and company culture in the long run. In a startup, it is essential that every employee is a die-hard fan of the company, its policies and its practices. In this company, I dont think that will ever be the case. This is perhaps one of the reasons that this company hasn't managed to do well after 11 years of operation. Where can you find motivation amongst your employees if you resort to such cheap practices against them?!

From my perspective, throwing away the employees' food is totally unecessary and avoidable. But, this was a company run by an East Asian management team. I guess they brought over the Chinese management practices to Silicon Valley, thus resulting in this - a situation where the authorities wield their power unecessarily and engage in micro management and anti-employee practices.

I was considering going and talking to the management about this and giving them my 2 cents. But, I decided against it because I dont see anything positive coming out of it.

So, I've decided to do this. Firstly, I will come to work exactly at 9 in the morning and leave at exactly 6 in the evening everyday. That instantly reduces 3-4 hours of productivity per day from my side. Secondly, I will go out for exactly 1 hour during lunch everyday and eat outside or at home. I will never ever eat in my cubicle while punching away code again. There goes another 30-45 mins of productivity. In addition, I will calculate, in hours, the value of all the food that they threw away, and make sure I spend those many hours doing absolutely nothing at work.

There! That's what happens when you mess around with an employee. When you demoralize an employee. When you behave as if you're an enemy of your employee. There goes my patriotism towards my company - down the drain.

Well, on the positive side, I've at least learnt how NOT to treat my employees when I start my own company.


Tags: anger, anti-employee, micro management, Excelics


Kalyani said...

OMG!! Hahaha!! That's the best way to get back at them..:P Cant stop laughing at how stupid some companies can get!

sherene said...

whoa, that sucks. and ya, i'd have thought that the company provides for food when its employees are working overtime, etc. geez!